This is is part of my live-learning series! I will be updating this post as I continue through my journey. I apologize for any grammatical errors or incoherent thoughts. This is a practice to help me share things that are valuable without falling apart from the pressure of perfection. 

“About Psymposia

Psymposia is a media organization that uses adversarial journalism to shine a light on the complex connections between drugs and society, psychedelics and mental health, science and capitalism, technology and politics, mass incarceration, culture, conflict, cartels, and everything in between. Through investigative journalism, live events, and podcasts, we offer systemic analysis and critical perspectives using the lens of drug policy to view the deepest issues in society. ▇

100% Independent

Support Our Work

We are a 100% independent voice in psychedelic science and drug journalism. We never have corporate ads, sponsored content, or sketchy affiliate programs.

This means we require support from the grass roots so we can dig into the biggest issues with no strings attached. You can make an impact and support us each month by becoming a member on Patreon. Members receive access to full length video podcasts, interviews with guests, and more. ▇



Contact Us

For press inquiries, questions, feedback, proposals, requests, and ideas contact our team .


Our Team

Brian Normand Co-Founder

Brian Normand co-founded Psymposia as a way for students to discuss the wide-ranging social issues in psychedelic science and drug prohibition in-person and online. He began to advocate for psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy for those with depression in 2009 after losing his mother to suicide, and ending drug prohibition after his arrest in 2012 for cannabis and mushroom cultivation. He’s organized numerous community education events around the world and has a BS in Plant, Soil, and Insect Science with a focus in business from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

David Nickles Managing Editor

David Nickles is an underground researcher and harm reduction advocate. He has presented social critiques and commentary on psychedelic culture and radical politics, as well as novel phytochemical data, at venues around the world. David’s work focuses on the social and cultural implications of psychoactive substances, utilizing critical theory and structural analysis to examine the intersections of drugs and society. He is a vocal opponent of the mainstreaming and commodification of psychedelic compounds and rituals, believing that such approaches inherently obscure the liberatory potential of psychedelic experiences.

Neşe Devenot Medicine, Society & Culture Editor

Neşe Devenot, PhD is a Medicine, Society and Culture Postdoctoral Scholar in Bioethics at the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. Previously, she was a Research Fellow at the New York Public Library’s Timothy Leary Papers, a Research Fellow with the New York University Psilocybin Cancer Anxiety Study, and an Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in Digital Humanities at the University of Puget Sound. Her research explores the function of metaphor and other creative uses of language in descriptions of psychedelic experiences, as well as abuses of power and hegemonic social forces within the community.

Brian Pace Politics and Ecology Editor

Brian A. Pace, PhD is an evolutionary ecologist who specialized in phytochemistry, ethnobotany, and ecophysiology. His interest in life science was piqued as a teenager while experimenting with his own neurochemistry. Brian has long been interested in the burgeoning psychedelic society movement and other grassroots efforts to find alternative policies to the failed drug war. He did field work in Southern Mexico, the US midwestern prairie, and the Ecuadorian Amazon. For more than a decade, Brian has worked on agroecology, food sovereignty, and climate change. More recently, he has taught graduate and undergraduate-level courses on cannabis.

Russell Hausfeld Senior Writer

Russell Hausfeld is an investigative journalist and illustrator living in Cincinnati, Ohio. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Religious Studies from the University of Cincinnati.

Erica Darragh Contributor

Erica is a community organizer and harm reductionist from Georgia, working at the intersections of drug policy reform, climate action, and digital rights. Currently, she serves as Board Chair at SSDP and distributed organizer at Sunrise Movement, among other hats.

Lily Kay Ross Arts and Gender Editor

Lily Kay Ross, PhD has been taking a feminist approach to theorizing ethics in psychedelic spaces since 2009, especially with regard to sexual misconduct, abuses of power, charlatans, and the dominance of traditional gender norms in psychedelic spaces. Her PhD research looks at how neoliberal discourses burden victim/survivors of sexual violence with the directive to individually overcome social problems, and the trouble with posttraumatic growth. Her other projects advance best practice and evidence based policies and responses to sexual harm. She is a feminist writer, educator, and violence prevention facilitator. After a five year hiatus from psychedelics, she’s happy to be home.

Matt Payne Podcast editor

Matt Payne is the podcast editor for Psymposia. He has a journalism degree from St. Thomas University and lives in Ottawa.”

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